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Mayor Dan Norris holding a sign reading

Local people know their communities best. Therefore, it is fundamental that you are at the heart of creating transport solutions that work for your area. That’s why Metro Mayor Dan Norris, in partnership with North Somerset Council, has set up a new £2 million fund called WESTLocal, so communities can design and run their own public transport to better suit their needs.

Maybe the challenge in your area is getting people to a local town centre or to a large local employer at the start and end of shifts. Perhaps it’s linking together a group of villages or some other challenge that needs tackling. We need you to help identify those challenges and propose solutions. Together, we can encourage people to get out of their cars to help tackle the climate emergency and help more people to get around our amazing region.

Get started

Complete our expression of interest form, and we will set up an informal meeting with you to discuss your proposed idea. This will enable us to give you the best advice to help create a fuller scheme proposal and following that, an application to the fund.

Express your interest

A wide selection of community groups, schools, faith groups, town and parish councils and more can apply for funding. You can come up with a plan as a standalone group or join up with others. Your proposed scheme must serve residents based in the area covered by West of England Combined Authority and /or North Somerset Council.

Any WESTLocal service must be open to the public and cannot be solely for school students.

Individuals may put forward a proposal though the expression of interest form, but the lead applicant for the funding must be part of a constituted body. A constituted body is a formal structure which allows an organisation to raise finance or funding. It includes:

A management committee which includes a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer, a written constitution document that states the aims of the group and how it will operate, a bank account and a set of accounts

Examples of constituted bodies include a Parish Council or registered charity. We can offer further advice on this.

You will need to partner with a transport operator to work with on your application. We can help by providing a list of bus operators who are interested in partnering on a WESTLocal scheme.

- Are locally designed in the community
- Introduce a new service rather than sustaining schemes and services that are already in place
- Help reduce carbon emissions by moving people away from reliance on privately-owned cars
- Demonstrate clear demand within the community for the service not just select groups
- Have a clear plan for ongoing monitoring and improvement during the funding period and beyond
- Demonstrate long term financial viability

Some examples of the types of services you may wish to set up are:

  • Bus routes operated on fixed routes and timetables
  • Pre-booked minibus services to key locations such as supermarkets, shopping centres, local towns, and transport interchanges (such as major bus stops on the key transport corridors)
  • Pre-booked flexible minibus services

Don't worry, you don't need any prior knowledge of running a transport service. We are here to help each step of the way.

Simply submit an initial expression of interest and we will be in touch to discuss your idea and talk you through the next stages, to help you turn your idea into a worked-up plan.

You’ll then have the chance to apply for funding. If you’re successful, you’ll receive ongoing support throughout the funding period to help make your service a success.

We recommend that you partner with a local bus or community transport operator. We can help you explore these options as part of the initial phase of developing your proposal and application.


The first step in the process is to submit an expression of interest online.

Following this, there’ll be an informal meeting to discuss your idea. You will be offered advice to help create a worked-up proposal to apply for funding. The deadline for funding applications for services to commence in September is 31 May 2024.

Webinar recording

Learn more about applying for funding and running a transport service

Interested in getting involved, but need more information before getting started?

Watch the WESTlocal 'get on board' webinar to discover what WESTlocal is, hear from transport operators in the region, and listen to an audience Q&A.

Watch on YouTube
Mayor and bus driver smiling at camera on a bus

WESTLocal is all about people power in action. I’m proud that by securing the largest amount of funding per head for buses in the country we are able to invest in WESTLocal. Local people’s great ideas and local knowledge are already playing a key part in getting people from A to B across our brilliant region. Your idea could be next.

Dan Norris, Metro Mayor
Mayor Dan Norris, Paulton Parish Councillors and local residents by the bus stop holding a sign saying WESTlocal in Paulton High Street, Paulton

Paulton celebrate their new bus service

Paulton residents celebrate being privy to the first WESTlocal bus service running in their area. Their new service will run five times a day linking communities across the Somer Valley and Cam Valley.

Read more

Boat on a lake

Chew Valley secures WESTlocal service

Chew Valley are the second to be awarded funding to run a WESTlocal bus service in their area. their WESTlocal will provide a commuter service completing one return journey weekdays between Bishop Sutton, Chew Stoke and Chew Magna and Hengrove Park, Bristol Temple Meads, near Bristol Bus Station and the Centre.

Read more

What we do

Discover what we're doing to improve transport in the West of England.